The Best Hostels in Semuc Champey Guatemala

El Retiro Lodge - Best Hostels in Semuc Champey Guatemala. Credit: El Retiro Lodge

Semuc Champey in Guatemala is a special place.  Limestone rock pools cascade through a canyon in the middle of the Guatemalan jungle, surrounded by lush green.  Semuc is in the middle of nowhere, at least an 8-hour journey from Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala City, or Flores, so it isn’t possible to visit Semuc Champey on a […]

Backpacking Guatemala Travel Guide

Semuc Champey Guatemala - Finding the Best Hostels in Semuc Champey

Guatemala is a special place.  Torn apart by civil war from 1960 to 1996, Guatemala is slowly recovering, and is now becoming a must-visit destination in Central America.  Backpacking in Guatemala will reward you with incredible scenery and natural wonders, from volcanoes to limestone pools and huge lakes, strong indigenous cultures and colourful clothes, delicious […]

The Acatenango Volcano Hike to see Fuego in Guatemala

Fuego Volcano Spewing Smoke & Ash - The view from Volcano Acatenango

I met Roman in Antigua Guatemala, when I was there last year.  I had asked him to write this article about the Acatenango hike before the fatal eruption of Fuego volcano in Guatemala on June 3rd 2018.  I thought long and hard about whether to publish it at all after so many people lost their […]

What to do in Antigua Guatemala – The Ultimate Antigua City Guide

What to do in Antigua Guatemala - The Arch in Antigua

Why visit Antigua Guatemala?  The jewel in Guatemala’s colonial crown, Antigua manages to combine indigenous Mayan culture with colourful architecture, magnificent crumbling churches, fiery volcanoes and a steady stream of tourists & expats in one gloriously beautiful package.  However, with so much on offer it can be hard to know what to do in Antigua Guatemala, […]

Hiking A Live Volcano in Antigua Guatemala

Smoking Live Pacaya Volcano near Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala is a gorgeous town, filled with beautiful buildings and indigenous culture, and surrounded by volcanoes.  Agua Volcano towers about the town, Fuego Volcano spews smoke and lava, Acatenango is a tough hike with glorious views of Fuego, and Pacaya Volcano is still live but a gentler hike.  I was in two minds about […]

Lake Atitlán Guatemala – Your Ultimate Guide!

Lake Atitlan - Backpacking Guatemala Guide

Lake Atitlán is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen.  Blue water, volcanoes, and indigenous Maya villages dotted around the lake make for a peaceful and fascinating stay!  Just two and a half hours from Antigua, Lake Atitlán is a highlight of any trip to Guatemala, alongside Antigua, Tikal, and Semuc Champey. […]

Hobbitenango – Hobbits in Guatemala’s Middle Earth

How to find the best Backpacker Accommodation Around the World - Hobbitenango in Antigua Guatemala

Did you know there are hobbits in Guatemala?  Well, hobbit holes at least, in Hobbitenango.  Rather like Hobbiton in The Shire of New Zealand, Lord of the Rings fans can now visit Middle Earth in Guatemala.  Set high in the hills above Antigua, Hobbitenango is an eco-friendly hotel and restaurant with spectacular views of the […]

Cooking Guatemalan Food with La Tortilla Cooking School Antigua

I am attempting to take part in a cooking class in every country I visit.  I have so far only managed a cooking class in Mexico City, Barcelona and La Paz in Bolivia, so I wanted to do a cooking class in Antigua Guatemala.  I had no idea what Guatemalan food was like.  Tortillas, of […]

Tikal Sunrise: Camping at Tikal Guatemala

Tikal Mayan Ruins in Guatemala - Backpacking Guatemala

Tikal Guatemala is the most impressive Mayan ruins I have seen so far, compared to others like Lamanai in Belize for example.  Tikal National Park comes close to Machu Picchu in grandeur, although sadly there is no viewpoint to overlook Tikal, partly because it is surrounded by jungle!  This vast Maya site is actually closer […]

Semuc Champey Tour in Guatemala

Semuc Champey Guatemala - Finding the Best Hostels in Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey Guatemala is one of the highlights of most people’s visit to Central America.  Beautiful turquoise pools amid the lush Guatemalan jungle certainly is a sight to behold.  However, as a visit to Semuc Champey requires a 2-day detour between Antigua and Flores in northern Guatemala, if you are on a tight schedule think […]